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Sep 11 2014
Fall Storm Season on the Horizon PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 September 2014

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nws_map_11_sept_14.gifShady Grove Oliver/KBBI
    An especially strong tropical system is expected to bring heavy rain and strong winds to the coastal regions of western and southcentral Alaska later this week, signaling the start of the fall storm season. KBBI’s Shady Grove Oliver has more from Homer.

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Sep 10 2014
Human Remains Found on Shuyak Island PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 September 2014
Associated Press
    Alaska state Troopers say human remains have been found on Shuyak Island.
    Troopers say they were notified Monday about the discovery on the east side of the island, located about 70 miles north of Kodiak.
    Troopers say an identification of the remains could not be made because of their condition. They did not say how old the remains might be.
    The remains were recovered. They were sent to the state medical examiner's office.
 
Sep 10 2014
UPDATE: Rainier Spill Now Estimated at 1,640 Gallons PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 September 2014

noaa_ship_rainier.jpg

NOAA research vessel Rainier. NOAA file photo

 

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    An oily sheen in Women’s Bay has been traced to the NOAA research ship Rainier docked at Nyman Peninsula on the Kodiak Coast Guard base.
    According to NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations spokesman David Hall in Silver Spring, Maryland, the spill volume was originally pegged at 400 gallons.
    "We regret the incident and are working closely with the Coast Guard to minimize any environmental impacts and thank them for their assistance with the response," Hall said. "We’re investigating the cause of the incident and are taking appropriate steps to ensure it does not happen again.”
    However Jade Gamble of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation in Soldotna says the spill was actually 1,640-gallons.
    She said the spill was traced to a rupture in the bulkhead between a fuel tank and the grey water tank – which was not being used because the Rainier is connected to shore facilities. As the grey water tank filled with diesel an evacuation pump would occasionally kick on, discharging the fuel directly into Women’s Bay.
    Gamble says tracing the problem took all day yesterday. Absorbent boom and a fuel skimmer are working to clean the spill, with a second skimmer being brought in to help. The spill was initially responded to by the Coast Guard, Gamble said, but responsibility will be turned over to NOAA, who is expected to hire a commercial clean up company to mop up the contamination.
    The spill was first reported Monday to the Coast Guard, and again at noon yesterday (Tuesday). Comments from locals on the Friends of Kodiak Facebook group reported the smell of diesel fuel coming from the direction of the base for several days.

 
Sep 10 2014
July Humpback Death Likely from Ferry Strike PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 September 2014

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State and federal officials conducted the examination of the 25-ton humpback whale on Puffin Island in Kodiak in July after it was killed by what is now believed to be a collission with the ferry Kennicott. Photo courtesy Kate Wynn

 

Associated Press
    Federal authorities believe the death of a humpback whale near Kodiak in late July was likely due to a collision with the state ferry Kennicott.
    There were questions around the time of the incident about whether the animal was already dead when the ship struck it. Julie Speegle, a spokeswoman with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said that doesn't appear to be the case. She says the whale was freshly dead when examined.
    A necropsy found the cause of death to be a fractured skull due to a ship strike.
    She says there were no findings in the report that the animal was injured before the collision.
    Speegle says charges will not be pursued in the case, because the ship strike was unintentional and there was no evidence of a violation.

 
Sep 10 2014
Spokesman: Scheduling Conflict Keeping Sullivan from Fishery Debate PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 September 2014

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    A spokesman for Alaska Republican hopeful Dan Sullivan has told KMXT that inevitable scheduling conflicts are behind the candidate missing the fisheries debate in Kodiak scheduled for October 1st.
    Mike Anderson said that over 20 organizations have shown interest in hosting a debate, and that Sullivan is scheduled to be on a campaign swing elsewhere in rural Alaska during the Kodiak debate.
    Kodiak Chamber of Commerce director Trevor Brown said that the debate is going on whether Sullivan shows up or not. It could turn into a Begich town meeting like the scheduled Alaska Native Brotherhood debate in Southeast recently that Sullivan was invited to, but skipped.
    For his part, Begich told KMXT yesterday afternoon that he is coming to Kodiak on October 1st no matter what.
    “Just before the primary actually, we put out a notice of all the requests that we received for debate and forums. We accepted 13 of them. He’s only done one, the one that was on the internet. And it was with the Liberty group, you know, Tea Party, libertarian, those groups that I showed up to, right? I wasn’t afraid to talk about the issues in a group that may not be as supportive, as you can imagine, some of my positions. And my understanding is he hasn’t committed to any other debates at this time. Which we have,” Begich said. “We are not afraid. This debate, as you know, is very detailed. A lot of good issues come up in it and it would be a great opportunity, but I’m going to show up anyway.”
    Begich said he was surprised and disappointed upon hearing of Sullivan’s exit, saying the fisheries debate is a “must-do” for statewide candidates.
    “To me it’s somewhat amazing and surprising when you think about it;” Begich said. “This is probably one of the most important debates when it comes to our largest employer, supporting thousands of fishermen and families and business throughout Alaska. It’s about jobs, it’s about the economy. For him not willing to stand up and put his positions on the table, I think it’s surprising, and I think a disappointment for Alaskans.”
    Sullivan’s stance on issues such as the Pebble Mine is not popular with commercial fishermen, especially in southwest Alaska, and though fishermen are in no way a monolithic voting bloc, the United Fishermen of Alaska has already endorsed Begich.
    “Even if you are not a commercial fisherman, or a sports fisherman, or a subsistence user, you still would like to know, on an industry that touches so many Alaskans in so many ways, where you stand. He’s unwilling to let Alaskans know,” Begich said. “I think that’s like sending an unknown to Washington D.C. and put at risk what Alaska has, that’s sustainable fisheries.”
    Kodiak’s Laine Welch, with whom the Chamber contracts to organize the event, said in an e-mail that she is hoping Libertarian Party candidate for Senate Mark Fish will accept the invitation to attend. Currently, the senatorial portion of the event will be in the first hour, with U.S. House candidates in the second. She added that Don Young will be attending and that she is waiting to hear from Democrat Forrest Dunbar.

 
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